Review: Oleanna (Theatre Penumbra)

Theatre Penumbra’s production of David Mamet’s Oleanna is terrifying—to me, anyway. I had read it in my early twenties and saw Mamet’s own film version, but I was unprepared for how hard it would hit me now. There in the front row at Red Sandcastle Theatre, sometimes mere inches from the drama as it unfolded—and despite knowing how the story plays out—I held my breath and braced myself. Continue reading Review: Oleanna (Theatre Penumbra)

Review: IMP (Filament Incubator/Epigraph Collective)

IMP, at the Tarragon Theatre in Toronto, is an occult-driven play that leaves you “breathless”

Created by Epigraph Collective and produced by Filament Incubator, IMP is a drama that weaves together social justice and the occult in a narrative that is both emotionally raw and stylistically disciplined. I can’t think of the last time a theatrical performance rendered me motionless and breathless for the duration of its run time, but by god, this play did it.

Continue reading Review: IMP (Filament Incubator/Epigraph Collective)

Review: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly Sweater (Second City)

Second City Brings Christmas Show to the Toronto Stage

Second City strikes again with it’s raging Christmas show, The Good, The Bad And The Ugly Sweater. I remember seeing a sketch show at Second City about 5 years ago when I first moved to Toronto. It was like an initiation into the city. It was fresh, hilarious and chock full of all the Canadian pop culture references I could handle. The comedy mecca’s current Christmas-y instalment is everything you would expect from a Second City show…and dare I say…and then some?

Continue reading Review: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly Sweater (Second City)

Review: Marine Life (Tarragon)

Environmentally conscious theatre lights up the Tarragon stage in Toronto

Marine Life is an original romantic dramedy written and directed by Rosa Labordé, about a dysfunctional activist who falls for a selfish lawyer and persuades him to change his ways. It’s a cute, funny play with a great message to take home, encouraging the audience to be empathetic and caring activists. Marine Life is playing at Tarragon Theatre and I highly recommend giving it a watch.

Continue reading Review: Marine Life (Tarragon)

Review: Poison (Coal Mine Theatre)

Fiona Highet and Ted Dykstra in PoisonPoison explores the human relationship with loss, playing at the Coal Mine Theatre in Toronto

The Canadian premiere of the award-winning Poison by Dutch playwright Lot Vekemans, Coal Mine Theatre’s first commissioned translation, features a gaping hole at its core by design. Despite (or perhaps because of) this, it’s one of the most fulfilling plays I’ve seen this year. Continue reading Review: Poison (Coal Mine Theatre)

Review: DISGRACED (Hope & Hell Theatre Co./Mirvish Productions)

DisgracedHard-hitting Akhtar play returns to the Toronto stage

The thought-provoking, bear-poking, conversational fire-stoking play DISGRACED (Hope and Hell Theatre Co., presented by Mirvish Productions) returns to the Panasonic Theatre. Previously produced in Mirvish’s 2016-17 season, this sprawling stage is stacked with 80% of the original cast, and 100% of the hard-hitting political theatre we all need right now.

Continue reading Review: DISGRACED (Hope & Hell Theatre Co./Mirvish Productions)

Manwatching (Royal Court Theatre/Tarragon Theatre)

Manwatching explores cis men delving into sexuality from a woman’s perspective, on stage in Toronto

The concept of Manwatching, on now at Tarragon, is both simple and novel: a male comedian reads, sight unseen, a script written by an anonymous woman that reflects on sex with men. There is no doubt that the text of the monologue was not previously released to the comedian who, on opening night, was Arthur Simeon. Simeon stumbled, reread bits to get it right, had authentic expressions of incredulity and surprise, and sometimes seemed to blush — none of which detracted from his delightful stage presence. The concept demands that there be a different performer each night, and the lineup is great. Most of the names are ones I recognize from my habit of listening to CBC Radio comedies, such as The Debaters. Continue reading Manwatching (Royal Court Theatre/Tarragon Theatre)

Review: Weesageechack Begins to Dance 30 (Native Earth Performing Arts Inc.)

Weesageechack Begins to Dance celebrates Indigenous theatre, on stage in Toronto

The Weesageechack Begins to Dance festival, produced by Native Earth Performing Arts is a two-week appetizer of Indigenous theatre that leaves the sensory pallet receptive and excited for the feast to come. The annual development festival is in its 30th year and celebrates emerging Indigenous talent across multiple disciplines and Nations. Opening night of Weesageechack 30 featured a workshop style reading of an excerpt from Weaving Reconciliation, a new play by Renae Morriseau, Rosemary Georgeson and Savannah Walling of Vancouver Moving Theatre. Continue reading Review: Weesageechack Begins to Dance 30 (Native Earth Performing Arts Inc.)